Meet Julie Gilbert

Today on Paws 4 Thought I’m happy to welcome fantasy author, Julie Gilbert.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, Julie.

I’m a high school chemistry teacher, a writer, and a Christian, not necessarily in that order. I also enjoy doing puzzles. Usually 1-2K pieces is a good amount. In my spare time, I review clean audiobooks in several genres. Pre-pandemic, I used to see a lot of movies in theaters. Perhaps I’ll return to that someday.

2. When did you first start writing?

The fascination with stories started when I was a kid, listening to my mom read to me. Eventually, that changed to me reading a lot on my own. Finally, around the time I was headed off to college, I decided to try to write something for fun. First story was pretty terrible, but the process taught me a lot. Taking that knowledge, I dove into a new project.

3. Who are your favorite authors?

That’s always a tough question. Brandon Sanderson and Dee Henderson come to mind as default favorites. They write very different kinds of books. Brandon Sanderson’s all about the epic fantasy, big worlds, cool magic systems, and so forth. Dee Henderson’s early works like the O’Malley series were absolutely amazing suspense books with a dash of romance.

4. I know you listen to a lot of audio books. What for you makes an excellent narrator?

While reviewing, I often change the speed, so reading cadence is a tad less important, but I still make snap judgment calls about whether I love their voice or not. In terms of skill, I look for whether the person can do a wide variety of credible voices for the characters.

I’m a tad pickier when it comes to choosing people for my own process. There’s the easy things like sound quality of the auditions and whether or not I like the narrator’s voice. Then, there are the more technical things like how many mistakes are made in the reading, what are their reading instincts (how they interpret the manuscript), and can they do a wide variety of character voices.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with nearly 20 awesome voice actors. Each has their strengths, and I’ve gotten a lot better at picking people over time. All have beautiful voices and immense talent. Of those I’ve worked with recently, Liz Brand (Reshner’s Royal Ranger, Shadow Council Series) and Reuben Corbett (Spirit’s Bane) stand out as people I would listen to read just about anything. I’m pretty sure they could make a calculus textbook sound good.

5. What inspires you to write?  

I love almost every aspect of writing. Once upon a time, I think it was about trying to prove writing could be just fun, not something that needed to have every little color of pants mean something. Over time, it’s grown into exploring the characters and the themes, and just telling an entertaining tale. There’s a fun challenge to the task of crafting a tale, then commissioning an audiobook and hearing it come to life.

6. Tell us a little bit about your process when creating audio books.

Having an audiobook created is an expensive, addictive hobby. It starts with obtaining a narrator. That begins with claiming the book and extends to the grunt work of putting in the details. The most important step of that process is selecting an audition script that will show off the main character, some normal reading sections, and a few different characters.

After choosing somebody there’s a bit of back and forth boringness about contracts and dates and such before one simply steps back and lets the narrator do their magic. I prefer having the raw files uploaded so I can listen for odd noises and places the audio differs from the manuscript. Sometimes, these variances are fine, and other times they change the intended meaning.

What happens next depends on the narrator’s process. Some outsource the editing, and others do it themselves. If there’s an outside editor involved, it typically takes longer because you have to wait for this other person to go through the files.

7. What are you currently working on?

In audiobooks, I’m nearing the end of the audition phase of Princess Melia’s Plight. I’ve chosen three people out of 112-ish. Just need to get that down to one.

As for writing, I’ve sort of put it on hold for a few months. I’m working on a super-secret nonfiction project that’s mostly being done for the cathartic benefit. Meanwhile, I’m throwing my efforts into learning to run amazon ads. I’d like to see if it can be done profitably with my current works.

When I return to writing fiction, I’ll finish Devya’s Children book 5, then re-evaluate my goals. If I’m truly in it for the money, I may see which genres are hot early 2021. If my attitude remains as it was, I’ll let my heart (not my wallet) decide which project gets aired next.

8. What do you like to do to relax?

Most of my review listening happens while taking long walks. That’s one benefit of the pandemic and this virtual teaching thing. I am in my room so much that I have to force myself to get out and move. Luckily, I like walking. Once all of the Mandalorian Season 2 is out, I’ll probably watch that in a week. Other than that, I occasionally do jigsaw puzzles. (Best ones have mostly been Ravensburger.)

9. If you could have any superpower what would choose?

I’m gonna be lame and say healing. While flying could be cool, I’d probably just get motion sick, which would be not so great for those below. Sort of afraid of healing as a gift though. I write about enough characters with the healing gift, that I’ve probably done more thinking about the costs and consequences of such a thing. Still, it would be awesome to be able to right some wrongs diseases have wrought upon the world.

11. How can readers connect with you?

The easiest way to catch my attention is to email devyaschildren @ gmail.com. However, the best way to stay on top of news, new releases, random musings, cool giveways, and such is to subscribe to the newsletter, which can be found on my website.

Thanks for taking the time to chat with me.

Very happy to have you, DMK

Do you like audio books? Check out two awesome promos this December, one for children’s titles and one for short stories for everyone. Click on the banners below for more details.

Meet Sami Valentine

Hi everyone, today I’m happy to welcome onto my blog Urban Fantasy writer, Sami Valentine. Sami grew up in the desert and now wanders in search of wifi and coffee. 

Formerly a mild-mannered librarian, she had a quarter-life crisis and shook everything up. She started working in an LGBT homeless center, shaved some of her head, and got really into tarot. After realizing that her goal in life was to get out of her small town and she only made it 30 minutes up the highway, she filled a bag and left. That was two years and a dozen countries ago.

She stopped by to answer a few questions about her series, the Red Witch Chronicles.

1. What is your book about?  
A Witch Called Red is the first book in the Red Witch Chronicles. This is a supernatural thriller about a witch trained as a supernatural bounty hunter. Where she came from is a mystery. Each book in the series has its own plot and conflict to solve, the overarching mystery is Red discovering exactly who she is and why she was left for dead with amnesia outside Eugene, Oregon. In the first book, Red and her mentor come to Los Angeles to solve the mysterious murder of a model left drained on the beach. Red gets in over her head as the murder investigations takes a hard turn into a conspiracy with the local vampires.

2. Every author does something different with urban fantasy, what is your twist on the genre?
 In the first book of my Red Witch Chronicles, I was inspired by those noir films like Double Indemnity and Kiss Kiss Bang Band LA so my UF has a gritty realistic flavor.  My style of urban fantasy could be described as character driven-thrillers.  

3. What inspired you to write this book?  
I am really interested in identity and memory and how it affects someone’s personality and choices. A big theme in the Red Witch Chronicles is the struggle in being yourself and it’s interesting to explore those themes with a character who has no memories.

4. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
A goat. This might be because my astrological moon sign is in Capricorn. Goats are agile, hardy, and stubborn. They can handle all weathers and altitudes. I spent a good chunk of a decade in a writing funk so I want to emulate the consistent goat.

5. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
If we count the fanfiction too, then a lot! I usually just work on one project at a time so I am focused on the Red Witch Chronicles, but I do have two prequel projects in the works. One focuses on Red as a teenager with her memories so it’s an interesting challenge to write a character who has almost two personalities.

Thank you for taking time to answer my questions. You can pick up A Witch Called Red on Amazon.

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Meet KM Jenkins

Today on Paws 4 Thought we welcome KM Jenkins who has a brand new book out that she is going to tell us all about.

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  1. Hi KM, tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m an International Bestselling Speculative Fiction author that writes fantasy and paranormal romance. One day I might delve into the horror genre but that is later down the road. When I’m not writing you will find me with my kiddos. Yeah, I have twin boys and they are a handful. They keep me busy and tend to intervene when I’m supposed to be writing.

  1. When did you first start writing?

I’ve been writing off and on since my childhood. However, I didn’t publish my first story until September of 2018. I’ve been working on other works ever since.

  1. Who are your favorite authors?

My traditional authors I love are: Mercedes Lackey, Tracy Hickman, Margaret Weis, Christopher Paolini, Rick Riordan, Kate Elliott, and Elizabeth Kerner.

My indie author favorites are: Renee Scattergood, Allison D. Reid, Tim O’Rourke, Ember Michaels and Aidy Awards.

  1. What inspires you to write?

I love reading books and they tend to help motivate me to write. Sometimes I meet people that inspire characters in my mind and hunger for the chance to write their stories. Another big inspiration is just my love for writing. I don’t do it for the money, even though that is nice to have, I do it for enjoyment.

  1. Tell us about your latest release?

My Tales of Ferrês bundle book is my latest release. It holds all the stories in my Tales of Ferrês short story series, plus a bonus story never seen before. The stories consist of several heroes that walk into the Forest of Ferrês, a kingdom of magical beasts that many never left alive. These heroes face adversity, create friendships, and find magic within themselves. There are: elves, fairies, dwarves, wolf shifters, twin-tailed foxes, and creatures that lurk in the shadows to feed.

  1. What attracts you to writing fantasy?

I have loved the fantasy genre since I was a kid. If it wasn’t for finding this genre I probably would never have picked up the reading habit. I love dragons the most of all fantasy creatures and can’t get enough of books featuring them. Probably the reason why I write a lot of stories and soon books with dragons in them.

Why do I love writing this genre? I would say it has to do with the ability to create my own world, creatures, and characters. The ability to create something from nothing is so exciting, it is hard to keep focused sometimes.

  1. Who is your favorite character you have written?

My favorite character so far would be Jeremy son of Blakis. He is a mischievous character that is always keeping everyone on their toes. Plus he is a comical character and that makes it fun to write his scenes.

  1. Do you have any pets? (If you do we’d love to see pics!)

Sadly no I don’t have any pets. I do have twin boys that crawl around on the ground and make animal noises. They are only two years old and make the idea of having a pet a nightmare. I have a big love for animals and actually had the boys dress up as a fox and wolf for play time. I have a few pictures included.

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  1. So what’s next? What are you working on?

Currently, I am working on my Gargoyle Sighted book. It is the first book in my Vortex Series. This book is being released chapter by chapter to my newsletter subscribers every month. The book is about a young cop named Cassie that finds out she isn’t exactly human who is having visions that tend to get her into trouble. She makes friends with a werewolf and has  a mother that keeps secrets from her and forces her into a world of supernatural beings. Cassie has to find her place in the world before she gets herself killed. Want to read this book as it is written sign-up here: https://www.subscribepage.com/y2i1x7.

  1. How can readers connect with you?

I have three main ways for readers to connect with me. The first would be my website/blog. The second would be my reader’s group and last would be my newsletter. These are the three places I keep up to date the most so easiest to follow along.

Website/Blog: https://authorkmjenkins.com/blog

Reader’s Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/kmstreetteam/

Newsletter: https://www.subscribepage.com/y2i1x7

Check out the Tales of Ferrês (Legendary Tales Book 1) today!

Just $2.99

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Since the beginning of time, one kingdom in the world of Tarzinëa has remained a mystery. Very few have entered its depths and survived. Walk alongside our heroes and watch their tales unfold as they enter the Forest of Ferrês. Discover everything from wolves so large they look like full grown ponies, to devil creatures that lurk in the night. Expect the unexpected as you venture into the magical land of Ferrês where not everything is as it seems.

Pick up from your favorite Retail Store: https://books2read.com/tofbundlebook1

K.M. Jenkins is a published international bestselling author that writes epic battles, forbidden romance, and tales of fantasy and adventure. She has a big love for the fantasy genre and loves dragons above all creatures.When she is not writing, you will find her chasing her twin boys around the house. Between the three she has epic battles throughout the day and nothing ever gets boring.

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Meet Joseph Madden

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Today on Paws 4 Thought we welcome science fiction writer, Joseph Madden. Tell us a little bit about yourself, Joseph.

I was born and raised in Queens, New York, but now I live in East Central Wisconsin with my wife, daughter and a plethora of fur-covered critters. When I was seven years old, my parents took me to see the original Star Wars for the first time. It changed my life. I became obsessed (in a good way) with it. I devoured anything science fiction that I could read or watch, and it remains a passion to this day.

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When did you first start writing?

I actually wrote my first story when I was about six years old. It was about the old Hanna-Barbera cartoon character, Muttley. Six or seven pages written AND illustrated. It has yet to see publication.

When I was twelve, I had a teacher who put a bunch of words up on the board (dragon, castle, wizard, etc.) and told us we had to use them in a story. Rather than it being a boring assignment, I took it as a challenge and turned in four hand-written, front and back pages. I had so much fun with it that I started writing stories just for fun. Been doing it ever since.

Who are your favorite authors?

I grew up loving Mark Twain. Arthur C Clark, Timothy Zahn, and Dean Koontz are all favorites and strong influences on me. Probably the earliest things I remember reading were Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comics. I think I was reading him even in kindergarten.

What are you reading now?

I am reading The Pioneers by David McCullough. I have a deep-seated love of American history and McCullough is, in my eyes, the undisputed master of historical non-fiction.

What inspires you to write?

So many things inspire me. Movies, books, historic events. Music is a huge fount of inspiration for me. I love film scores. John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith and others write such epic pieces and I will draw from those sources and sometimes I find myself writing scenes to match what I listen to. In addition, a good trip to Disney World is always a good way to get my creative juices flowing.

Tell us a little bit about your most recent release.

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The Starhawk Chronicles: Rest and Wreck-reation is the sequel to my first novel (Also titled The Starhawk Chronicles). It was originally inspired by, of all things, a trip I took to Las Vegas back in the mid-nineties. I had put my characters through so much in the first book that I decided to give them a break in the second book and send them on vacation. Of course, chaos ensues as the become wrapped up in a planetary revolution while just trying to take some time off. It was the most fun I’ve had to date writing.

What was your favorite subject at school?

I always liked to read, even from a very early age, so English was probably my favorite (except for book reports). As I got into high school, I really developed my love of history, especially for the Revolutionary War and World War II. And, of course, I excelled at lunch.

Who is your favorite character you’ve written?

Kayla Karson, one of the characters in the first Starhawk Chronicles. She’s a maverick. A loose cannon, and you never know what she might say or do next. That includes myself, there are literally times when I go to write her doing one thing, and she just disobeys and runs off to do her own thing. She is also a perfect foil for my main character. She drives him absolutely crazy, and that interplay makes things really fun to write. Currently, I am in the middle of writing her own spin-off novel.

What attracts you to fantasy?

In Middle School, we had to read The Hobbit. I thought it was going to be the most horrible read. The first chapter moved so slow and I thought I would never be able to finish it. Once I got into the meat of the story, I flew through it and was the first in class to finish reading it. After that, I started reading TSR’s Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman. I was hooked on fantasy after that.

What are you currently working on?

In addition to the Kayla Karson novel I mentioned, I am working on the third book in The Starhawk Chronicles, another series about a band of fighter pilots engaged in a galactic war that predates The Starhawk Chronicles without being a direct prequel to it, a story about Earth’s first, successful off-world colony, AND an epic fantasy duology. Think Lord of the Rings but with much, much more humor.

Any big news you’d like to share with us?

Things are pretty quiet for now, until the release of my next novel, whichever that may be. I’ll have to let you know.

How can readers connect with you?

My Facebook page is probably my biggest go-to. (www.facebook.com/authorjjmadden) I try to respond within a few hours of any messages. I am also prevalent on Twitter and Instagram (both use authorjjmadden as my handles) and I have a blog, Getting My Geek On, (jjmadden.blogspot.com) where I rant about anything from writing, to science fiction, to writing science fiction, and whatever else blows across my mind at the time.

A big thank you to Joseph for joining us today. Check out his newest book on Amazon.

 

 

40 Odd Things About Me . . .

It’s NaNoWriMo time and as I’ve got my daily word count in I decided to reward myself with a little bit of fun. A friend of mine on Facebook posted this thingy and invited others to join it, but it seemed too much fun to just use as a throwaway FB post so I decided to make a blog post for it instead. So here are …

40 odd things about me . . .

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1. Do you like mustard?

Don’t hate it, but prefer mayo.

2. Choice of carbonated beverage?

Seltzer in citrus flavors – I’m picky. Also I haven’t liked soda since I gave it up when I was pregnant with my daughter.

3. Do you own a gun?

Absolutely not – hate guns and even avoid them in my fiction if I can. Would rather have a wand for defense! 

4. What’s your favorite music?

Lots and lots – I have very eclectic taste in music from rock and punk to Gilbert and Sullivan opera and show tunes! 

5. Hot dogs or Cheeseburgers?

Veggie burgers – and in particular Impossible Burgers from Burger King.

6. Favorite Type Of Food?

Cheesecake.

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7. Do you believe in ghosts?

Nope – but they’re fun to write about.

8. What do you drink in the morning?

Tea – hot, strong and with milk.

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9. Can you do a 100 Pushups?

NOOOOO!!!! Not ever!

10. Summer, Winter, Spring, Or Fall?

Spring.

11. Favorite things to do?

Read, write, do puzzles, play board and card games, go to concerts with my daughter.

12. Tattoos?

No – I’m scared of needles. Though if I wasn’t I’d get a black kitty or a pawprint.

13. Do you wear glasses?

Yes.

14. Phobia?

Heights – in particular when there’s a chance I could fall. I have a bad sense of balance.

15. Nickname?

The kids call me “Person”.

16. Three drinks you drink?

Tea, Beer and Seltzer.

17. Biggest downfall?

Have fallen quite a bit (see the balance thing)

18. Rain or Snow?

Neither!

19. Piercings?

Nope, same reason as the tattoos.

20. Age?

Old enough to know better

23. Number of children?

2 plus 2 furry children!

24. Favorite color?

Purple

25. Employed?

Self-employed – writer, puzzler, and editor.

26. Can you whistle?

A little.

27. Where were you born?

London

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28. Brothers or sisters?

Nope.

29. Ever Been Arrested?

No.

30. Surgeries?

Quite a few

31. Religious?

No. Agnostic Jew.

32. Shower or Bath?

Shower – don’t remember the last time I took a bath.

33. Like gambling?

Nah.

34. Are You Loyal?

Very much so.

35. Broken bones?

Thankfully no.

36. How many TVs in your house?

2 that work.

37. Worst pain ever?

The prep for my breast cancer surgery. It was actually a worse pain than childbirth.

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38. Do you like to dance?

Yeah, especially at concerts where I embarrass my daughter!

39. Are your parents still alive?

No, my dad died in 2011 and my mum at the end of last year.

40. Do you like camping?

Didn’t mind when I was a kid. Nowadays I prefer a nice hotel!

 

So that’s me!

 

Meet Rich Linville

Today on Paws 4 Thought we welcome, children’s author, Rich Linville.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, Rich.

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Born in 1946. Graduated and Married in 1968.
Wife: Sulastri Two sons: Jon and Kris
Two grandchildren: Mia and Kai
For 48 years, I enjoyed teaching elementary, middle school, high school, and college. I retired in 2016. Since 2016, I have published on Amazon over 70 ebooks and paperbacks. Plus, I have published over 50 audiobooks.

That’s an awesome and inspiring list, Rich. Tell us when did you first start writing? 

When I retired from teaching in 2016, my wife suggested that I start writing children’s books. I asked my grandchildren what kinds of books they liked.

Who are your favorite authors?

My favorite authors are Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson) and Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel). Both reread many times.

(Two of my favorites – in fact I read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland over and over again when I was a kid and made it the favorite book of my main character in my series. DMK)

You have a LOT of books out. How do you come up with your ideas? What inspires you to write?

I might start with a question like “Why Are There Bullies and What Can You Do About Them.” Also, when I taught a fable or a folk tale, I would ask the students to think about its meaning. We would discuss it at the next class meeting. At that time, each student would give what she/he thought was the meaning. I explained that the meaning of a fable or a folk tale has changed over centuries. It means what you think it means.

Which is your favorite book or books you have written?

The one that I’m writing at the time is my favorite. (Is that a writer’s cliché?) If I had to choose, they would be “Growth Mindset for Kids” and “Why Are There Bullies and What Can You Do About Them.”

How are your books illustrated? Do you illustrate them yourself, hire an illustrator or something else? 

As a teacher, I used PowerPoint with clipart when it first came out because I could teach using the Socratic Method. On the first slide with pictures, I asked the students a question, let them discuss and guess the answer. On the next slide I would show possible answers with pictures. For my ebooks and paperbacks, I set up PowerPoint slides set at 6.138 inches width and 9.250 inches height. I purchase clipart and use Photoshop Elements to modify the clipart if needed.

What are you currently working on?

“Murphy’s Laws for Kids”

If you had a superpower what would it be?

The ability to stop all wars.

(Yep, that definitely would be a good one. DMK)

Do you have any pets? (Feel free to include pics if you do. My readers love pet pictures.) And if you do have any of them ever appeared in your stories?My wife and I have five rescued cats and one dog. Choco is short for Chocolatte. He’s half hairless chihuahua and half toy poodle. We think he’s a gremlin because of his ears and fur. We don’t give him baths or feed him after midnight (LOL)

How can readers connect with you?

My email is teachersask@yahoo.com .
I manage two Facebook groups:
Books for Children
https://www.facebook.com/groups/549460848889850/edit/
Free Audiobook Codes for Honest Reviews
https://www.facebook.com/groups/FreeAudiobookCodesForHonestReviews/

You can check out Rich’s books on Amazon. He truly has something for everyone.

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Meet YA author, Megan O’Russell

Today on Paws 4 Thought we welcome prolific writer, Megan O’Russell.

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  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, Megan.

I am a Young Adult author with three series currently available: Girl of Glass, The Chronicles of Maggie Trent, and The Tale of Bryant Adam. I’m also a blogger at LifeBeyondExaggeration.com and the playwright/lyricist for Princess Camp: The Musical.

  1. When did you first start writing?

I first began seriously writing about seven years ago. I was in a show where I was really miserable, and I needed an outlet to keep me sane. Writing became a normal part of my life, and now I can’t imagine giving it up!

  1. Who are your favorite authors?

Madeline L’Engle is my all-time favorite author. I grew up reading her books, and they really shaped how I associate with fantasy. My more recent obsession is Leigh Bardugo. Her Six of Crows series is impeccable.

  1. What inspires you to write?

I really love storytelling. Bringing an audience into a world they haven’t experienced before is a truly amazing thing.

As for bits of inspiration that actually float into stories, those come from everywhere. I once made my husband stop at a gas station for twenty minutes because I couldn’t think of the right words to describe the way the flag was hitting the flagpole. I have a huge case of wanderlust, so things from Thailand, Ireland, and tons of other places both in and out of the United States have wiggled into my books.

  1. Tell us about your latest release?

Boy of Blood is my most recent release. Book two in the Girl of Glass  series, Boy of Blood dives deeper into a mid-apocalyptic world of chemically-induced vampires and explores the end of the world from the point of view of the privileged one percent.

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  1. I see you write both fantasy and dystopian. Do you have a favorite of the genres? And what is the main challenge when switching hats so to speak?

I love dystopian and fantasy, but if I had to choose one genre to write in for the rest of my life it would have to be fantasy. There are just too many enticing possibilities to give up magic and new lands.

The hardest part about switching genres for me is the subtle change in voice and mood. Finding first love while the end of the world is looming is a very different story to be told than finding love at a masquerade of fairies.

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  1. So when you’re not writing you do musical theatre I see? What has been your all-time favorite role?

That’s a tough one.

If I had to pick just one it would have to be Mavis in Stepping Out because who doesn’t love a play with tap dancing?

  1. If you could play any role what would it be?

I would love to be anyone in Come From Away. The music and story are both so compelling, I would be honored to be any role in that production.

  1. So what’s next? What are you working on?

Right now, I’m editing a new Young Adult manuscript for my agent, editing book two in The Tale of Bryant Adams, and working on the script for a new children’s musical. It’s a lot to have going on, but I am having a ton of fun.

  1. How can readers connect with you?

You can find me on my website: https://www.meganorussell.com/

Blogging my little heart out: https://lifebeyondexaggeration.com/

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ORussellauthor

On Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8061709.Megan_O_Russell

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MeganORussell

On Instagram as: ORussellMegan

And all links to audio clips from my lyricist work can be found at: https://www.russellcompositions.com/shows-music

Meet Bob Morris

Today on Paws 4 Thought we welcome sci-fi author Bob Morris.

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  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, Bob.

I was born in Texas but grew up in Colorado. I have written for small-town newspapers for 20-plus years and held jobs in Rocky Ford, Colo., Raton, N.M., and Duncan, Okla., before settling into my current job in Kingman, Kan. Along with newspaper writing and novel writing, I write for the Denver Broncos website, Mile High Huddle and do other creative writing in my spare time – as you can tell, I love writing! Other than that, I volunteer at the Kingman County Humane Society, collect (American) football cards and do a lot of reading. I’m also a comic book geek and my fandom there includes the Arrowverse shows on the CW Network, the Marvel Cinematic Universe and a bunch of graphic novels.

  1. When did you first start writing?

Regarding writing novels, I first started with an idea that popped into my head a few years back for a group of teenage superheroes, but was lacking a premise for how they came together. The idea came from watching the TV series, Young Justice. As I mulled over my idea, I ran across The Hunger Games series and loved it. That’s when I asked myself the question, “What if a group of teenage superheroes emerged in a dystopian world?” And that’s what led to the inspiration for The Six Pack Series.

I started writing the first draft of the first book back in the spring of 2015. From there, I came across the Kansas Writers Association and got useful tips about writing and editing. I read a couple of books about writing from there, did more research, got feedback on my drafts and it took off from there.

My first book, Six Pack: Emergence, was released in March of 2018. The second book, Six Pack: Gyration, will be released May 22.

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  1. Who are your favorite authors?

I’ve loved Suzanne Collins’ work – she’s so good at character development and building tension. I’ve read a lot more books by Stephen King in recent years. Brad Meltzer is another author I enjoy. I also like S.E. Hinton and Douglas Adams.

  1. What inspires you to write?

What usually inspires me are current events or topics and how they could be twisted into a unique story. Also, some TV shows have inspired me to think about what they might look like if there was a different twist to them. And I do get inspiration for characters from people I have met in real life.

  1. Tell us a little bit about your upcoming new release.

Six Pack: Gyration is the second book in The Six Pack Series. It follows up on the events in the first book, in which our group of teenage superheroes is adjusting to a new life, but Tyler Ward, the main character, is worried for the safety of the people they left behind. When he learns that his professor from secondary school is in trouble, he encourages his friends to rescue him – but his decision has bigger consequences than he realizes.

SixPackGyration500x750

  1. What attracts to writing sci-fi?

Sci-fi allows you to explore different possibilities for what worlds may look like, how technology could advance and how people may interact with one another. It lets you use your imagination to think about what could be. Though some research is necessary, you don’t have to be as exact as with, say, historical fiction. The ability to think of your own ideas, so long as you keep them grounded in the worlds you build, gives you a chance to be more creative.

Also, I have an overactive imagination, so sci-fi is the best way to use that to my advantage!

  1. What are you currently working on?

I am completing the third novel in The Six Pack Series – it’s going through beta reading and final edits. I hope to have it released next year. I’m also doing a creative writing project on my blog called the Arrowverse, “Other World” in which I look at alternative versions of the characters in the four CW series. I have other novel ideas in mind, but just need to decide which one to pursue next! (This is what happens when you have an overactive imagination!)

  1. What do you like to do to relax?

I’m either reading or watching DVDs. And volunteering at the humane society is another way to relax – what could be better than spending some time with dogs, walking them, feeding them and caring for them.

parents dog ginger.jpg

I also like to hang out with my parents dog, Ginger. She’s a good friend of mine.

  1. If you could have any superpower what would choose?

Oh, that’s a good question! I think I would go with mental telepathy, because I can imagine the possibilities that would bring. No more guessing whether or not a politician is being honest with you!

Seriously, the possibilities with mental telepathy could go beyond mind reading. I think it would be interesting to see how far that power could go.

  1. How can readers connect with you?

They may find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bwmorrisauthor. I’m on Twitter at twitter.com/sixpackwriter. I am currently building a new website at bwmorrisauthor.com. I hope to get that website launched in June to kick off a launch party for my newest novel. Until that website is launched, readers may visit my current blog at relaxingwithsixpack.blogspot.com. They may also contact me at bwmorris at mail dot com. And I am working to get a newsletter and mailing list started.

THE SIX PACK SERIES

By B.W. Morris

It all started with a drink – a drink that gave Tyler Ward and five of his friends superpowers. Now they must figure out how their new powers can change society.

But who can they trust?

Who has their best interests in mind and who has a bigger agenda?

And what cost comes with change?

The young adult, science fiction/dystopian series is published by Clean Reads.

SIX PACK: EMERGENCE

Available on Amazon Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.

Just weeks before Tyler Ward is to graduate from secondary school, he learns the truth about Novusordo and how a drink controls the population. After sharing this information with his five friends, they visit a professor’s house, take another drink and gain strange powers. It leads to them learning more about how the government controls people and the discovery of a movement against the government. Calling themselves the Six Pack, Tyler and his friends must learn how their powers can change society. But they first must learn to trust this movement… and even each other.

SIX PACK: GYRATION

To be released May 22, 2018

Months after the Six Pack has fled City 37N104W, Tyler Ward wonders how much longer the Underground Network can afford to wait to make its next move against the Novusordo government. The disappearance of five more students from Monroe Secondary School pushes his desire to take action. And when he learns that Professor Roger Woods may be in trouble, he is convinced he and the Six Pack must take matters into their own hands, even if it means defying the Network. But actions have consequences, and the decisions Tyler and his friends make will impact everyone they encounter — including themselves.

SIX PACK: UPRISING

In editing stages, targeted release in 2019. More info to be announced.

Need something more to read in the meantime. Check out the P.A.W.S. Saga box set (Books 1-3) – Just 4.99 for a limited time.

Meet YA Author – Mindy McGinnis

Today on Paws 4 Thought we welcome Mindy McGinnis, eclectic YA author and kitty-lover!

Hi Mindy, so happy to have you here today. Tell us a little bit about yourself:

Mindy

I write across multiple genres – everything from post-apocalyptic survival to fantasy to contemporary and mystery. I have lived in Ohio my whole life and absolutely love it here.

So when did you first start writing?

I wrote when I was a child, experimentally. I never finished a novel until I was in my mid-20s.

Who are your favorite authors?

I grew up reading Stephen King. Some of my more recent favorites would be Frances Hardinge and McKenzie Lee.

What inspires you to write? 

I’m fortunate in that ideas just seem to fall out of the sky. They can occur out of nowhere, and I don’t question that.

Which is favorite title you have published so far and why?

Sea  Earth

Probably my fantasy titles, GIVEN TO THE SEA and GIVEN TO THE EARTH. Fantasy is by far the hardest genre I’ve ever tackled. The world building is key, and I found that executing that took every ounce of talent I have.

If you could hang out with one of your characters who would you choose and where would the two of you go?

Probably Lynn from NOT A DROP TO DRINK and we would just hang out in the woods.

Drink  Dust

What are you currently working on?

I’m in between books, having just turned in the copyedits for my Winter 2019 release, HEROINE.

What do you like to do to relax?

It’s so rare for me to get to do so, but… reading.

Tell us about your kitties? I hear you have quite a few?

Kitty3

I have NINE cats, if you can believe that. I had the normal amount of cats (four) until one of the farm kitties abandoned a litter and I ended up bottle raising a group of five. You can’t do that and then “find a good home.” So yeah… now I have nine cats.

Kitties  Kitty2

How can readers connect with you?

The easiest way to find me is to check out all my social media on my site:

 http://mindymcginnis.com/books.html

Meet Harsha Sheelam

Today on Paws 4 Thought I’m happy to introduce children’s and YA author, Harsha Sheelam. Tell us a little bit about yourself, Harsha.

 Author

I am children’s book author from Hyderabad, India. I fell in love with writing at an early age thanks to my mother. I have three books to my credit, one young adult novel, and two short stories books. My articles have been featured in magazines, newspapers, and blogs. When I am not writing, I am either playing my sitar or studying business administration.

When did you first start writing?

 I first started writing when I was in high school, but I only began to do it professionally in 2016 when I started working with a Hyderabad based magazine. In about six months I was multi-tasking writing for three companies. I debuted in 2017 with my first book.

Who are your favorite authors?

Rabindranath Tagore, Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton, Graham Greene, Shakespeare, Frances Hodgson Burnett, to name a few.

(That’s a really eclectic list – I like it! DMK)

What inspires you to write?

 Writing helps me to escape from reality and takes me into this private space where I can do and think what I want without anyone to judge me. The peace, humbleness, and simplicity that writing gives me, is what inspires me to write.

  1. Which is your favorite book you have written?

 biao  thta

I can’t decide a favorite book. I’ve always said that it is like answering the question, “Who is your favorite child?” The learning, experiences, and memories that I have with each of them are so significant. The hard work and perseverance that I put into each can’t help me determine my favorites.

Did you illustrate yourself, or did you hire an illustrator? If an illustrator – tell us a little about them.

 I have hired the illustrator in the past. But, I will myself for my next poetry book, which is about healing and is suitable for adults.

What are you working on?

 I have finished working on a collection of short stories named ‘Poppydown Pals’. It should hopefully be out mid-year. I am currently working on my poetry book, which are four-line couplets. All those who love R.H Sin, Faraway Poetry, Atticus, will hopefully love these.

If you had a superpower what would it be?

 geie

I’d like to read and fix the minds of people who think ‘Girls shouldn’t wear short clothes, be out late, drink, smoke, have tattoos, show skin, have short hair, be dark-skinned, be a housewife, and god forbid if she is dating,  she is a gold digger.” The world will be a better place with a superwoman who can change these perspectives for the empowerment of other women.

(Really awesome answer here! Here’s to all the superwomen out there! DMK)

 Tell us something unusual about the place you live.

I can’t tell if I’m the only one surrounded by such people or if it is in the rest of the world. Narrow-mindedness, prejudice, judgments, valuing the useless and ornamental, is something very unusual. The world is evolving, evolve your mind too.

(Sadly yes, there are narrow-minded people here in the States too. Agree that we should all evolve. DMK)

Thank you for hanging out with us Harsha. How can readers connect with you and where can we buy your books?

 I’m available on online portals of my website, Instagram, Facebook, and Amazon author page.

www.sheelamharsha.com

www.instagram.com/harshasheelam/

www.facebook.com/harshasheelamm/

https://www.amazon.com/author/harshasheelam